U.S. Support of the War at Home and Abroad

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1 U.S. Support of the War at Home and Abroad The Main Idea As the United States sent increasing numbers of troops to defend South Vietnam, some Americans began to question the war. Content Statement/Learning Goal Analyze how the Cold war and conflict in Vietnam influenced domestic and international politics between the end of WWII and Analyze the policy of containment the United States followed during the Cold War in response to the spread of communism.

2 Ch 29-2 Vocabulary Operation Rolling Thunder Ho Chi Minh Trail William Westmoreland Pacification Doves Hawks J. William Fulbright

3 Ch 29-2 Vocabulary Operation Rolling Thunder: a U.S. bombing campaign in North Vietnam in March Ho Chi Minh Trail: a network of paths from North Vietnam to South Vietnam. William Westmoreland: American general in the U.S. Army; he was the commander of the U.S. ground troops in south Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Pacification: a program in the Vietnam War in which U.S. troops would move South Vietnamese from their villages and burn the villages down. Win hearts and minds of citizens. Get them away from Vietcong. Win hearts and minds of South Vietnamese people.

4 Ch 29-2 Vocabulary Doves: people who are opposed to a war. Hawks: people who are supportive of a war s goals. J. William Fulbright: ( ) American politician, he was a U.S. senator from Arkansas who was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1959 to 1974 and strongly advocated peace talks in the Vietnam War.

5 Operation Rolling Thunder A bombing campaign over North Vietnam Bombed military targets army bases and airfields as well as bridges, roads, railways, and power plants Main target was the Ho Chi Minh Trail 1. The Air War Weapons of the Air War Agent Orange defoliant, or chemical, that destroys vegetation Napalm jellied form of gasoline used to create firebombs Cluster bombs sprayed sharp metal fragments when exploded The Air War Bombing did not succeed Flow of goods from North to South Vietnam actually increased Vietcong repaired bridges, had bunkers underground, and used weapons from the Soviet Union and China

6

7 Napalm

8 Napalm Girl

9 2. Ground War/U.S. Strategy The number of U.S. ground forces in Vietnam continued to grow. U.S. strategy called for ground forces to go on search-anddestroy missions. General William Westmoreland commanded the U.S. ground troops in South Vietnam. Ground troops located the enemy and called for air strikes. Areas that were cleared rarely remained that way for long. Progress not seen on a map but in body counts which were often inflated. Gave false sense of progress during the war. U.S. forces implemented a program of pacification to win the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese people. Nonmilitary pacification involved construction projects. Military pacification involved moving people out of their villages when Vietcong were nearby.

10 3.Declining Troop Morale American forces in Vietnam faced many challenges. Vietcong struck and then melted back into the jungle Vietnamese peasants seemed peaceful during the day, but at night aided or became Vietcong. Couldn t trust civilians Tropical Climate Vietcong knew the local geography. Nearly impossible to tell the difference between a Vietcong fighter and a civilian. Faced constant danger from Punji stakes, booby traps, or ambushes Enormous casualties inflicted upon the Communist forces did not lead to victory. With the aid of the Soviet Union and China, North Vietnam sent a steady stream of supplies and soldiers to the South. Vietcong continued to refill their ranks with civilians. U.S. air strikes and the pacification program turned many peasants into Vietcong fighters.

11 Vietnam Execution of Ngyen Van Lem 2/1/1968 by South Vietnam s Chief of national police

12 4.U.S. Forces Mobilize More than 2.5 million Americans served in the Vietnam War. On average, the soldiers who served in Vietnam were slightly younger than the U.S. troops who fought in Korea and World War II, and not as well educated. At the start of the war, most American troops were professional soldiers volunteers who enlisted in the armed forces. However, the U.S. government came to depend on drafted soldiers.

13 5.The Draft 25 percent were excused for health reasons; 30 percent received deferments, or postponements of service. College students were deferred, so men from higher-income families were less likely to serve. Enrollment in colleges skyrocketed. A high percentage of combat soldiers were African Americans. A draft lottery began in 1969; the draft ended in percent of eligible men escaped the draft by either refusing to register or by leaving the United States. U.S. Forces Mobilize 6.Non-combat Positions Most Americans in Vietnam served in non-combat positions administration, communications, engineering, medical care, and transportation. About 10,000 American military women served. Some 20,000 to 45,000 more women worked in civilian capacities, many as volunteers for the Red Cross or other humanitarian relief organizations.

14 7.Public Opinion Regarding the Vietnam War Media s Impact 8.Hawks and Doves Most Americans supported U.S. involvement at first Reporters and television crews went on patrol with the soldiers. Television brought scenes of firefights and burning villages into America s living rooms. living room war Criticized the government s reports about the war Doves people opposed to the war next slide too. Hawks people who supported the war s goals Both criticized the war effort. Hawks wanted more troops and bombing. Doves opposed the war for many reasons.(next slide)

15 8.Reasons that Doves Opposed the War Argued that Vietnam was not crucial to American national security (Ex. George Kennan) Argued that the United States was fighting against the wishes of a majority of Vietnamese (Ex. Dr. Benjamin Spock) Argued that the war was draining needed resources from Great Society programs (Ex. Martin Luther King Jr.) Argued that it was unfair for African Americans to fight for democracy in a foreign land when discrimination continued at home (Ex. Civil rights activists) Argued that Johnson s policies were too extreme (Ex. J. William Fulbright)

16 9.Antiwar Movement Movement attracted a broad range of participants including students, civil rights workers, doctors, homemakers, retirees, and teachers Much antiwar activity took place on college campuses. Most vocal group Students for a Democratic Society. Had members on 124 college campuses More than 20,000 people marched to the Capitol in Washington, D.C. delivering a petition to Congress demanding them to end the war. Antiwar protesters made up a small percentage of the U.S. population.

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